How stuff gets real. On implementation

You have the goals and now you would like to see them come to life, because that was the whole point.

Point 1: Put it in your calendar. Take yourself and your plans seriously.

Set a regular time for when these steps need to happen and treat them like any other key appointment with somebody senior you can’t say no to (this is your life, remember…)

You are going to make some change in your life, and you will need to show to yourself you mean it, to develop that trust in the new thing you are looking to do. This helps you steady yourself. This might sound weird but it works.

Point 2: Make yourself accountable.

This means, rope somebody in. Your partner, your boss, your best friend.
A mentor, a community. People who mean well AND are going to say something or do something if you procrastinate forever or don’t change but just complain instead.

(if you don’t have any of these, consider broadening your circle to include that…)

That should help getting things started out there. Now, let’s keep momentum: 

Point 3: Integrity. 

That is a key thing. As you start living your values out loud, you will every now and then run up against a fence post. This is a test, this is how strong your values are, how serious you are about living them. And a good practice ground for key conversations that need having.

Point 4: Bouncing back 

Not everything might go perfectly to plan, things might go wrong, conversations might not be successful. There are times where you are going to get back up, have to dust off your knees and keep going. Some changes take time and some take several attempts to get it right. Document what you learn and let your values and the attractiveness of your goal (you wanted this for a reason, remember?) sustain you during that phase.

Check out the values worksheet here.
Or
go deeper and get the book.
Or
ping me about how coaching might help. 

Getting back on track

Ever set a goal and not reached it? What happened? It somehow never fully got off the ground? All those beautiful plans, working out 2-3 times a week, for example? You might have a client workshop somewhere else, and not be home for your Thursday evening class. You might have prioritizes sleep because you got so little of it. You might have chosen to spend time with friends instead or gone to a business networking meeting. 

If you find you have goals that are sort of around but never really gain traction, do some forensics if it fulfills these 3 criteria:

  • Which area of your life is this serving? How well is that area of your life served by other things? How big is the need compared to other goals? How explicit are these goals? (analyzing where you spend your time and money in real terms can shed some light of what you actually do)
  • Where did that goal come from? Is that something you want or is that a lifestyle trend you feel you should be following?
  • Is the goal aligned with your values? Or is it serving one at the expense of the others? (and are you OK with that?)

Meaningful goals are aligned with our overall lives (moving them in a desired direction but not being completely opposed, or being everybody else’s idea of how we should live. They also serve the fulfillment and expression of our values. If a goal doesn’t do these things, ask yourself if you are chasing the right thing in the right places. 

How do you do goal forensics? What do you discover and how do you then adjust?  

Check out the values worksheet here.
Or
go deeper and get the book.
Or
ping me about how coaching might help. 

Commitment and action

Too many commitments weighing you down? Focus is the older sister of commitment, the one with the overview to sometimes pry the younger one off her target when she has gone on autopilot. Focus determines where commitment is worth keeping, dissolving – or worth recommitting (and properly this time). That bridge in Paris with all these love locks had to recently be cleared of all of them to preserve its structural integrity. That is a massive bridge. Each lock is tiny, but there were gazillions of them and it just got too much.

This involves saying no, this involves trade-offs and this involves conversations with other people. Think about the commitments you entered. The ones you think you entered, and possibly the ones others think you entered (hint: If you feel people keep badgering you about a lot of things on an ongoing basis, there might be a misalignment or you might just be bad on delivery but that’s another topic).

Then, think about the big long-term things you want to reach. Which commitments serve you in reaching this? Which ones don’t? This might require some conversations with other people. Sharing goals and values can be a useful first step to set the baseline for this.

How do you notice when you have overcommitted? Where do key things fall through the cracks in the overall frenzy? What works for you to best untangle this (without burning bridges)? Please share!

Check out the values worksheet here.
Or
go deeper and get the book.
Or
ping me about how coaching might help. 

Slippery slopes

That feeling of discomfort the next day, that unease after the conversation… Ever had a “values hangover”? Knowing things were maybe not completely off track, but probably not really OK anymore? Life is messy, and often situations are not as perfectly clear-cut as our noble values suggest. Of course we would defend our values if they get violated, but how do we actually know that happened? Often, it is not the big blow-up, things slip in installments until you notice they are off, and then things are already pretty unstable.

For me, keeping tabs on this has something to do with how values are represented in my body. Where and how I am feeling them on a good day, and how this changes in difficult situations. A tightness in the throat, a knot in the stomach, things like that. They give me an indication when things start slipping – provided I actually take the time and space to check in with myself. This is very much a learning process, and often I catch things late, but I’d like to think as I practice, I catch them quicker. 

What is your strategy for this? What are examples where your values were challenged? What are warning signs you have identified when things are slipping? How did you start the conversations?

What have values ever done for us

Your values are one of the things that make you YOU, it’s the stuff you live by, whether you are conscious of it or not. They help you figure out what right and wrong or better or worse look and feel like. They are also among the drivers of happiness (when fulfilled and respected) and your own bespoke version of hell when they are not. All of us have them at least implicitly, and it helps to become a bit more conscious about them.

You are striving to reach a goal (several, probably). Is there a connection between your values and the goal you are working towards? It is infinitely powerful when that clicks. You want that to click. That’s where the magic comes in, where your goals and subsequently your life are starting to feel more and more like you.

They are the most powerful way of sense-checking where you are heading. If you choose option A, what does that do to your top 5 values? “Integrity” is one of mine, and is one of the key filters I run decisions through. If Integrity gets affected significantly, that is not a decision I want to be making as I am not likely to be happy actually living with the consequences. “Freedom” is another strong one, and I tend to be happier with decisions that increase my “elbow room” versus the ones that don’t. Whenever I found myself in gnarly, uncomfortable places, it was usually in violation of one of my core values. They are great indicators. Listen to them.

What is one of your core values? How is this driving what you are looking to achieve?

Check out the values worksheet here.
Or
go deeper and get the book.
Or
ping me about how coaching might help.